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Palauan Adjectives

The following is a brief discussion about Palauan adjectives. For a longer exploration, please refer to discussions of state verbs in the Joseph Handbooks. According to the official Lewis Joseph grammar book of Palauan, there are no Palauan parts of speech called adjectives. However, Palauan does, of course, have words used to describe other words. In English, we call these words adjectives. Examples of English adjectives are dangerous, beautiful, and hot.

Palauan Resulting State Verbs

In Palauan, words corresponding to English adjectives are called state verbs. There are several types of Palauan state verbs. The most common are resulting state verbs which occur as a result of a verb. Some examples:

Here is a list of seven random Palauan verbs and their resulting state verbs:

cheleldoech, v.r.s.has glow cast upon it.
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delidiich, v.r.s.shined upon; lighted up.
delidiich a mla medidiich; mocholt a kotel me a chelebulel; delidiich er a meteet, melidiich er ngii; didichel.
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klaiu, v.r.s.picked with pole; attracted; seduced.
klaiu a mla mekaiu; iedel a klaiu, nglai er a bab, koiuii, kmaiu, kiuel.
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selngerekl, v.r.s.flung down; dropped.
selngerekl a chemoit; mla mesngerekl; metech a babier me ng obriid; singerekl a belatong er a ulaol me ng obebeu.
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telechelbakl, v.r.s.dived into.
telechelbakl a mla metechelbakl; te mla melechelbakl er ngii; Ngeremechiuch a techelbeklel.
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ulchoud, v.r.s.looked for.
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urriik, v.r.s.chased out; expelled; gotten rid of.
urriik a mla moriik; modik; orikii a bilis, oriik a katuu, orikel.
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Palauan Anticipating State Verbs

Anticipating state verbs in Palauan are like resulting state verbs. However, instead of describing the state of something after a verb has modified it, these describe the state of something before a verb is anticipated to modify it. Here's seven random Anticipating State Verbs:

chelebodel, v.a.s.is to be hit or struck.
chelebodel a oleker a chelebed; kirel el mechelebed; cholebedii, cholebed, diak le chelbodel a chad; chelebedel.
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chesimall, v.a.s.is to be turned, wound or screwed.
chesimall a kirel el mechesoim; chosimii a seraub, chosoim, mengesoim er a ralm, chesimel.
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remesall, v.a.s.is to be poked at; (food) is to be tested.
remesall a kirel el merumes; kukau a remesall; rumesii, ruumes.
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sengeakl, v.a.s.(odoim or rice) is to be cooked or boiled in water.
sengeakl a kirel el mesengoes; odoim a sengeakl; smongosii, songoes, melengoes, sengosel.
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siokel, v.a.s.is to be looked or sought for.
siokel a kirel el mesiik; osiik er a mo menguteling er a buai; siekii; skel
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uklsechall, v.a.s.is to be wished luck.
uklsechall a kirel el muklusech; omeklusech er ngii; meklsechii; mo ungil besul; mo melusech; ukbechel
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utichioll, v.a.s.is to be changed, replaced or succeeded.
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State Verbs with Related Nouns

In English, a common thing to do is to ask 'how XXXX is something,' where XXXX is an adjective. For example, 'how hot is that,' or 'how dangerous is that,' are common English expressions.

This is true in Palauan as well in a form like, 'ng uangarang a kleldelel,' which translates literally perhaps to something like, 'it is like what, its heat,' or figuratively as, 'how hot is it.' The word kleldelel is a possessed noun meaning 'its heat.' See the nouns page for a longer explanation of possessed nouns.

Many of these Palauan nouns have related state verbs which translate to, and are used as, English adjectives. Here is a list of seven random Palauan nouns along with their corresponding state verbs.

Palauan_NounEngish_NounPalauan_AdjEnglish_Adj
smuuchscorpion fish (hardly moves in water).smuuchscorpion fish (hardly moves in water).
kikoisea clam.merikikoiwavy; bulging in places.
iudoraiburent-a-car; U-drive car.iudoraiburent-a-car; U-drive car.
tedobech(one) half.tedobech(one) half.
bidokelhives.bidokel broken out in hives.
chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).chermallPalauan money in form of green or blue glass beads.
kerisgoiter.kerisgoiter.

Reng Idioms as Adjectives

There are many Palauan expressions which use a state verb to describe the Palauan word reng which means spirit or heart. These are idioms which mean their literal and figurative meanings are not the same. Typically, but not always, the figurative meaning describes an emotion. An example is kesib a reng, which literally means a sweaty heart but figuratively it means to be angry. Here is a list of seven random examples of these reng idioms:

PalauanEnglish
kikiongel a rengul(person is) obstinate/uncooperative; sullen.
olsarech er a rengulhold in or control emotions, anger etc.
oltak er a renguldeceive oneself about being someone's sweetheart.
oltamet er a rengulpull at someone's heartstrings; mean a lot to someone.
berngel a rengulanything discouraging to one's spirit.
cheremremangel a rengulgreedy; stingy.
olturk a rengulsatiate; make someone give up (from fatigue); get one's fill of; insult continuously or mercilessly; let someone really have it.

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